Friday, August 29, 2014


Avril Tremayne was born in Australia, with an Italian/Irish pedigree.She's been an avid reader all her life, but took the scenic route to becoming a writer, via shoe-selling, nursing, teaching and—most recently—a highly successful career in corporate affairs and public relations
Along the way, Avril studied acting, singing, pottery, oil painting, millinery, German and Arabic - with very mixed results.She's a mad keen traveler with more favorite destinations than should be allowed, but currently resides in her hometown of Sydney, where her husband and daughter try to keep her out of trouble - not always successfully.When she's not writing or reading, Avril can generally be found eating - although she does not cook - drinking wine, and obsessing about shoes!

Jan Schliesman: Welcome, Avril!  Tell me, how often to you get lost in a story?
Avril Tremayne: All the time. I am a voracious reader - and as an opportunistic insomniac, I read a lot! I'm an upstairs, downstairs, mezzanine kind of girl, who starts to panic without a massive to-be-read pile on each level. At the moment, I’m reading The Heat Of The Night by Amy Andrews downstairs (ebook), Hustle by Claire Chilton on the mezzanine (ebook), and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts upstairs (print, for the bath).

So You Think You Can WriteJan: We met through Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest last fall. Was this the first contest you entered?  Did you worry about posting your story for EVERYONE to read? 
Avril: I entered a few contests quite some years ago, and was lucky enough to be a finalist in some of those. But nothing on the scale of SYTYCW, where so many people were looking at my work. I was a little bit terrified of sharing so publicly, to be honest - but in the end I found it to be one of the most valuable aspects of the competition. And good practice for being published, of course!

Jan:  You hail from Australia and have led an adventurous life, sometimes rubbing shoulders with a few celebrities.  Care to drop a name or two?
Avril: Oh, I've had tons of celebrity sightings over the years, which I won’t drone on about except to say that Hugh Jackman and George Clooney were close enough to touch at two separate events I was at - not joking! But I do have two favorite examples that were a little more substantial. The first:  I toured the world as part of the PR/marketing team managing John Travolta's Spirit of Friendship tour back in the day. For those who don't know, as well as being a phenomenally 

talented pilot and an ambassador for the airline I was working for at the time. Talk about a career highlight! And the second example: I once sat next to Jim Caviezel on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney. We even had a little conversation during the meal service, without me knowing who he was – only that he was the best looking man I had ever seen in my life! It wasn’t until we disembarked and I saw one of the airport staff holding up a sign with his name on it that it all clicked.

Jan: After visiting San Antonio for the Romance Writers of America Conference, did any one thing strike you as being different from the sister conference held in Australia?
Avril: It's a matter of scale. The American conference is huge; the Australian one is more intimate by comparison. But what they have in common is wonderful people sharing amazing knowledge. Imagine being able to attend sessions taught by a veteran cop (San Antonio) and an Egyptologist (Sydney). There’s always something fascinating on offer. If you’re interested in romance writing, I say no matter where you are, get to the closest conference you can. You will never meet a more welcoming, generous, inspiring group of people.

Jan: What’s a normal day like for you?  Is your family good about helping out when you’re under deadline?
Avril: I have a tiny but gorgeous little writing ‘nook’ at my house, and I’m in it writing/editing for between four and ten hours every day. Confession – those hours include more than the occasional foray into the world of social media. I go for a run in the afternoon if I can't find a believable excuse to dodge it. And I always stop for a G&T or a Campari at about 6pm. I'm both delighted and ashamed to admit that I am generally excused from housework and cooking duties at Casa Tremayne because I suck at that stuff! 

Jan:  Did you buy yourself something special when you sold your first book?
Avril:  My first ‘writing’ present to myself was a pair of custom-printed Converse All Star hot pink sneakers with my name emblazoned on the side, which I bought in Los Angeles on my way to the Romance Writers of America conference. I just love them.

Jan: Tell me about your August release, Here Comes the Bridesmaid.
Avril: Sunshine Smart has only got two months to organize her friend’s wedding. 
She has to include the grouchy, surly best man Leo Quartermaine—a top chef and her complete opposite!
Said best man is extremely handsome and sexy—and knows it!  
He has no interest in decor, flowers, clothes or shoes…but has an uninformed opinion on all four!
And just a few days in she's already slept with him. Rookie mistake

Jan:  How many times were you a bridesmaid? Worst dress you had to wear?
Avril: I’ve been a flower girl once, a bridesmaid at least twice, and I was also a near-bridesmaid on one occasion when the bride and groom didn't make it to the altar and a day of excessive booze-fuelled wedding cake consumption ensued. The worst outfit was one I designed myself. It was a faux-Victorian era dress in red, with a fake fluff/fur pillbox hat and matching muff. Actually, the dress itself wasn’t so bad, but a muff in Sydney? I was probably in full-on costume drama mode when I thought that up, daydreaming of my own distant future wedding, which I imagined as a medieval fantasy, with me in royal purple, ten bridesmaids in white velvet, and a destrier to trot me up the aisle!

Jan:  Did you have a big or small wedding?  Did anything go wrong on your wedding day?
Avril: I had a smallish (70 people) and very stylish wedding, at a private home overlooking Sydney Harbour. It started with a cocktail party, and then at a certain point, I made a grand entrance. I walked up the ‘aisle’, which was actually a steep path that none of the guests could see, to the wonderful song 'This Guy's In Love With You' by Herb Alpert – and I now cry every time I hear that song. Nothing actually went wrong but I did two things by the seat of my pants that easily could have.
The first was my bouquet. I opted to wander up the road to a nearby florist on the day of my wedding to choose something from whatever flowers they had available. I ended up with native Australian flowers - the main ones were plain, pretty, velvety flannel flowers, which are greenish-white in color - and just wrapped the stems in a leftover piece of fabric from my wedding dress, which was a beautiful peacock blue/green Thai shot silk. As people left the reception, rather than the traditional bouquet toss, I handed a sprig from my unconventional bouquet to each and every woman.
The second thing was my arrival. Because nobody would see me arrive, courtesy of that long walk up the steep hill, I decided not to waste money on a fancy hire car and instead called a taxi when I was ready. There were a few tense moments with my brother Pete, who was escorting me, as the taxi took its time arriving!

Jan's GOTTA ASK: My hubby works for Haagen-Dazs so I always have to ask…what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Avril's GOTTA ANSWER: Well, it's a two way tie. In ice cream - rocky road! In gelato - lychee and coconut. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH AVRIL FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US!  And watch for her two new Harlequin releases in October:

Avril will be giving away a signed hardcover copy of Here Comes The Bridesmaid and will ship it ANYWHERE in the world so scroll to the bottom and answer this question (and be sure to include your email.) 

What was the best or worst bridesmaid dress you ever wore?

Twitter: @AvrilTremayne


Mary Preston said...

Avril your books look wonderful. (You might get away with a muff in Melbourne.)

One of my friends had a "rainbow" wedding. So, we all wore the same hideous design but in an array of colours. It was like getting car sick, just looking at it.


Avril Tremayne said...

Ahh, the rainbow wedding - a classic! And you never know, I might bring that muff down to Melbourne for the Romance Writers of Australia conference next year!

Anita H. said...

I haven't had to be a bridesmaid yet so none although I've seen some horrible ones I"m glad I never had to wear. Neon~ish colors are so garish and hideous for weddings!!!

thebigbluewall77 (at) gmail (dot) com

Willa said...

I am a bridesmaid virgin - have never had that 'pleasure'. Thankfully!! Loved the excerpt on your site - giggled my way through ☺

Willa said...

Oops - forgot my email - Willa (AT) talktalk (DOT) net

Angi Morgan said...

I think I would have been tounge-tied the entrie flight. I definitely know who Jim Caveziel is.... oh wow.... just wow. That would make my decade.

Welcome to GLIAS, Avril. Have fun with the release.

May said...

The best is a pink dress. The bride actually paid for it so I didn't have to spend like hundreds on it.

bn100 said...

Haven't been one

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Elisabeth Hobbes said...

I always wanted to be a bridesmaid and when I was a little girl I dreamed of wearing a long, frilly, lacy, flouncy dress (I was a child with little taste). When I finally got to be a bridesmaid aged 12 it was for my very sensible uncle whose very sensible fiance made my sister and I the dresses. We got...
very sensible, knee length, peach cotton plain dresses (my daughter now has it in her dressing up box).
But I still got to walk down the aisle with flowers so it was both the best, worst and only bridesmaid dress I ever got to wear.


Avril Tremayne said...

There is one more dress that springs to mind for me - a somewhat out-there yellow chiffon. And you know, not everyone can wear yellow!

Avril Tremayne said...

Glad you liked that excerpt. You know, I laughed a lot writing Here Comes The Bridesmaid. I laugh a lot anyway, but it's a funny read.

Avril Tremayne said...

Thank you. I have a weird thing on flights that I DO NOT want to be talked to. I was probably giving off frost vibes! He's the one who struck up the conversation. Can you believe what a numbskull I was?

Avril Tremayne said...

The dress I had for my almost-bridesmaid turn was pink. Really stunning, and I'm glad to say it got out and about at a few cocktail parties in the following years.

Avril Tremayne said...

You know, it's kind of fun so I hope you get the experience some time.

Avril Tremayne said...

I think we all wanted flounce when we were little. My flowergirl dress was a fabulously sleek 60s style emerald green A-line with white daisies - just gorgeous to my adult eyes, but not a flounce in sight. Fortunately, I got to have ringlets on the day!

Anonymous said...

I would rather have been sitting next to your Aussie compatriot, Eric Bana!

Avril Tremayne said...

As it happens, I did once spot him at a theatre in Sydney. Very tall, very gorgeous.

Ada said...

I haven't been in one but a friend of mine from high school had her wedding and one of my closest friends was a bridesmaid. They had the most beautiful dresses - the bride chose colors that highlighted each of the bridesmaids and they came out in beautiful gold, cinnamon brown and a lavender color and the entire wedding party was just decked out. So pretty! I would totally want to do that for my own wedding (someday!)

ahui89 at hotmail dot com

Avril Tremayne said...

That does sound lovely - she was lucky! And it makes sense because not everyone can wear the same color and look great.

Jenny Taylor said...

The worst bridesmaid dress I ever had to wear was this horribly clingy unattractive design that didn't look good on any of us. The worst part though, it was brown. We looked like a bunch of turds walking down the aisle. It was a nightmare!

Avril Tremayne said...

Oh that made me laugh! After all my daydreaming about a Medieval wedding, I ended up with no bridesmaids at all! But if I'd had any, I can't imagine I would have chosen any shade resembling a turd.

Anonymous said...

I've never been a bridesmaid and I wanted my maid of honor and two junior bridesmaids (her daughters) to look good and love what they wore. But I do love to watch the movie 27 Dresses to see hideous dresses. LOL

Marcy Shuler

Avril Tremayne said...

Ha! I know - that's such a great scene. I might dig that DVD out again this weekend. This blog has made me nostalgic about weddings.

Yuri said...

I've never been a bridesmaid :/
I saw Revenge of the Bridesmaids and 27 Dresses. And wow it can be stressful and fun at the same time. :D

Avril Tremayne said...

It is stressful all right - but yes, also great fun. Especially if the groomsmen are nice!

Jennifer Hayward said...

I love the G&T and Compari Avril! Can't wait to read Here Comes The Bridesmaid! I've had good luck with bridesmaid dresses, can't complain! :)

Avril Tremayne said...

Haha! Nothing like a Campari to set the world straight!

Anonymous said...

What's the most exotic drink you've ever had???

Avril Tremayne said...

Now that is a very difficult question because I've had so many exotic drinks, it's not funny. I'm going to give two - one old-fashioned cocktail and one new one. My favorite classic drink is the Brandy Alexander - when I have one, I feel like I'm sitting in a swish 1960s bar. The new one - I'm going for one of the Chinese zodiac cocktails served at the very cool Spice Temple restaurant (Sydney and Melbourne). Although I was born in a Rat year, I actually like the Pig cocktail, served by the carafe: Ketel one vodka, sake, nashi pear juice, green tea syrup, soda water. Yum.